State Senator O’Brien is a life-long resident of Kalamazoo County and grew up on local dairy farms with her parents and three brothers. She credits the farm with learning the work ethic she has today. After graduation from Mattawan High School and the James Madison College at Michigan State University, she was hired as a social worker for Catholic Charities. Currently, she is a REALTOR® with RE/MAX Advantage. Together, she and her husband, Nick, parent four children and have a dog. As a family, they enjoy sports and being active outdoors. Hobbies that Senator O’Brien enjoys include running, reading, sewing, baking and photography of the kids’ sports. She and her husband are members of Valley Family Church.
In November of 2014, Senator Margaret O’Brien was elected to represent the 20th Senate District which includes all of Kalamazoo County. She was chosen by her colleagues to serve in a leadership position as Assistant President Pro Tempore and is deeply honored to represent the residents of Kalamazoo. For the 2017-18 legislative term, O’Brien serves as Chairwoman of the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs, and Homeland Security committee. She also serves as Vice Chair of the Banking and Financial Services committee, as a member of the Commerce, Health Policy and Insurance committees and on the State Police and Military Affairs Appropriations subcommittee.
Previously, she served two terms in the State House of Representatives from 2011-2014. She was unanimously selected both terms to the position of Associate Speaker Pro Tempore and frequently chaired the House proceedings. Prior to serving at the State Capitol, Senator O’Brien served on the Portage City Council from 2003-2010. Community service has been a passion, and her volunteerism has included AYSO coach, Girls on The Run Coach, Chair of the Kalamazoo County Environmental Health Advisory Council and Seita Scholar Mentor. Active memberships include Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau, Greater Kalamazoo Association of REALTORS®, Home Builders Association of Greater Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Rod & Gun Club and Ladies Library Association of Kalamazoo and Schoolcraft.
While in office, Senator O’Brien has been active on many issues. Issues she has successfully advocated for include securing funds for WMU Autism Excellence Center, direct access to physical therapy, educational reforms, fair taxation, service dog legislation, veterans issues, environmental remediation, safety for children, government transparency, SMART911 and many others. Senator O’Brien and her team of staff work hard to find solutions to problems facing the people of Michigan.
Senator Margaret O’Brien can be contacted by clicking here.